Over the past five months, upper school administrators and faculty members have adapted the schedule to fit the requirements of COVID-19. Through the first quarter, students have attempted a great deal without feeling overwhelmed, largely because they are only dealing with three classes. As they transition to the second quarter of the school year, students feel comfortable with the changes they will experience, and many will feel refreshed by a new set of courses to explore. Teachers, however, are not afforded such luxuries.
Under normal circumstances, teachers are given a full year before returning to the same material, but due to the alternating quarter system, many of them will be teaching the same material within two months. Additionally, some will be alternating between different rooms to accommodate class sizes.
Spanish teacher Ms. Brooke Kenna discussed some of the challenges she will face moving rooms after each quarter.
“I’m definitely going to get my steps in, because I’m moving to the third floor, but I consider myself lucky that I’m still here, and I’m still in Wilson Hall,” Ms. Kenna said. “I know I’m going to have colleagues that will help me out and be right nearby to make the experience easier.”
Ms. Kenna said she will keep things fresh in the second quarter, while essentially teaching the same skills.
“It’s always dependent on the group of students,” Ms. Kenna said. “I try to feed off their energy and their interests, so one of the first things I’m going to do is ask them, ‘What do you hope to get out of this class?’ And I’m going to tailor everything I do around that.”
“I think it’s going to be a unique challenge for sure,” Ancient and Modern World History teacher Mr. Jeremy Hart said. “There will always be fun in getting new classes and students, new personalities. But it is going to be a bit of a broken record of, ‘Oh, didn’t I just do this?’ So I’m curious about the transition between the two.”
Teachers have learned quite a bit from their experiences in the first quarter, and plan on using their newly acquired knowledge to improve their classes.
“I’m excited to try and improve upon some of the things in terms of management of hour-and-a-half classes,” Mr. Hart said. “I think there is some intellectually stimulating planning I’m going to get to do.”
As preparations for the second quarter begin, teachers are already looking ahead to the return of their current classes.
“I think the biggest challenge,” Mr. Hart said, “will be picking up the third quarter with what’s transferred over, and seeing what kids have retained.”